We’re going for 4 winning weekends on the trot at Sandown-Hillside on Saturday. This Saturday sees some better weather forecasted than the previous two weeks. The track is currently rated a Good 4 at the time of publication; if anything we may see improvement to a Good 3 by the weekend provided the showers stay away. This should make for exciting racing, giving every horse it’s chance.
The headline races for a pretty average Saturday at Sandown-Hillside are the $90,000 Ladbrokes Bet Better Handicap (Race 4) and the $80,000 Ladbrokes Cash In Handicap (Race 8). All 9 races are covered in our thorough analysis below including our Race Prediction, One for Exotics, Betting Verdict and Quadrella Numbers.
Race 1 2YO Fillies Handicap 1300m
Small field to open the card in what looks an unattractive 2 year old affair. With little confidence i’m putting Cat Woman on top. She raced on the lakeside course last week behind a few handy types and gets the senior rider on board today. The handicaps are of much higher quality than the maidens and Sadler backs her up. Montoya’s Secret probably deserves favouritism after hitting the front and beating all bar the well tried Sebring Dream at Flemington. Probably hasn’t shown enough the justify the sub $3 quote on offer. Kenedna led all the way at Geelong over 1200 two weeks ago and has plenty of upside. Bay Harmony and Inspired Estelle next.
One for exotics: Bay Harmony ($15)
Race prediction: 4-2-1-3
Verdict: Saving my money for later races. No bets.
Race 2 3YO+ Fillies and Mares Benchmark 84 1500m
Yellen resumed with a solid effort from the rear of the field at Cranbourne and should be peaking here second up. Looks perfectly suited with the good track and $8 looks a nice bet each way if the back markers get their chance. Holy Cow ran a huge race in Adelaide two weeks ago coming from the tail. She does look the one to beat but I’m not sure how I feel about the drop in distance.
Ma Jones is looking for her fourth win this prep in only 6 starts. She’s never run in this class but is well weighted to figure in the finish. Niminypiminy is testing my patience but isn’t without claims on the quick backup. This is about as far as she wants. Testability has no weight and can run well.
One for exotics: None
Race prediction: 3-2-4-5
Verdict: Holy Cow the one to beat, Yellen the value. Yellen E.W @8.00:2.60
Race 3 3YO Open Handicap 1600m
Going for another with value here in War Legend. His last effort over 1600 was a narrow victory in an average race at Pakenham. Moroney then sent him to the Allister Clark Stakes where he wasn’t disgraced behind superior horses and he followed it up with a 1.2L 3rd behind Howard Be Thy Name; thats good form! Month between runs the query but does look suited back in distance. Divine Mr Artie cost me the quaddie last week after being out-bobbed on the line. Theres no doubt he’s flying at the moment but he’s never run at the mile before and is on the quick backup. $3 though? Atlantic City looks ready to run a bold race now fourth in after a spell. The track pattern was against last time and he’s drawn to get all the favours here. Lake Jackson was a bit stiff last time behind Rezak and i think he can turn the tables here.
One for exotics: Lake Jackson ($10)
Race prediction: 4-2-7-11
Verdict: Hoping War Legend is ready to go after a month off. War Legend E.W @7.50:2.50
Race 4 Open Handicap 1800m
Impossible to tip against the flying Turnitaround here. Should be 4 from 4 this prep and isn’t hindered by the drop in 200 metres. Ben Thompson gets a handy 3 kilo claim and he looks primed to chalk up 4 in a row. Sysmo looks the biggest danger. The rising 7 year old got better with racing and further distance last preparation and his final 400 metres behind Petrology last start looked encouraging. Longeron may not have handled the soft track last week. He does his best racing around this distance range and is known to throw in the odd shocker. Sandhill Chief will go straight to the front and should give you a sight for your money at $17. Don’t think the Casterton Cup form will measure up though.
One for exotics: Sandhill Chief ($17)
Race prediction: 1-2-4-7
Verdict: Turnitaround should be winning again. Turnitaround W@2.90
Race 5 Benchmark 78 1000m
Putting San Amaro on top here. He’s run against much better quality in the past and although he might want it a bit further, he’s drawn well in 5 and his trials have indicated he’s ready to put in a bold performance first up. Secret Blend will certainly have admirers. 2 of his 3 career wins have come over the 1000m dash but he has drawn very wide and will have to do it tough. Hoping Magnagem shows her best after putting in a below average performance last month. Has a good record over 1000m and does appreciate a good track. Stingray was once a highly regarded galloper. A few disappointing runs later and he’s huge odds in a fairly average Benchmark 78. Look for him to be running on. Kievann is more than capable of pulling out a run fresh.
Gold Heist is flying!
One for exotics: San Amaro ($12)
Race prediction: 10-8-16-5
Verdict: Chances galore. No bets.
Race 6 Benchmark 84 1600m
I was quite impressed with Schersozo’s effort first up after he absolutely flew in the last 100 metres. Looks well suited at the mile and if he’s progressed at all he should go very close to winning again. Second up effort the big query. Although he has a stack of weight, Royal Rapture hasn’t run in 84 class for a while now. His effort two weeks ago was promising and after the 3kg claim he looks to play a major part in this race. Nozomi looks to have come back in good order this preparation and is well suited up in distance. Wasn’t disgraced last start but its clear he wants further.
The lightly raced Leonforte is another who looks suited over this distance. The form from his first up second looks good and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him winning up in grade. Aurum Spirit pulled off some slick sectionals behind Mihany last start. This is tougher.
Update: Putting Master Reset in the quaddie after the scratching of the favourite. Been average this prep but his best is good enough.
One for exotics: Royal Rapture ($11)
Race prediction: 6-3-1-13
Quaddie selections: 1, 3, 6, 8,
Verdict: If Schersozo had more reliable second up form I’d be all over him. No bets.
Race 7 4YO+ Mares Open Handicap 1300m
A Lotta Love had absolutely no luck at Caulfield two back and put in a solid effort at Group level last start in Adelaide. She has a terrific overall strike rate and looks the one to beat here. Enquare has had a minor form slump since performing admirably in much tougher races earlier in her preparation. I think she’ll appreciate the drop back in distance and the drop to mares grade. Certainly isn’t hopeless at $12. Forgeress is the weight horse here with just 52 on her back. She does look better suited with the step up in distance off her 6th in a Group 3 race. Suspect there isn’t that much between her and the top pick asides from the odds. Exclusive Lass is another must for exotics. If you rule a line through her Manihi failure she has put in 3 very good runs this preparation. She has drawn very wide though. Danestroem is better than her first up effort and i’m willing to forgive.
Update: Khutulun goes in the quaddie after Liten Prinsessa’s scratching.
One for exotics: Enquare ($11)
Race prediction: 5-2-8-3
Quaddie selections: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8,
Verdict: Don’t usually like betting in these mares races. No bets.
Race 8 3YO Open Handicap 1300m
Going for class again here by putting Sooboog on top. He’s impossible to catch as a punter but his 5.7L 10th last start was better than it looks on paper. He must be going alright for Weir to line him up in a strong Group 1. Odyssey Moon finds it pretty hard to win but is rarely far away. His effort from the back in the Straight Six was admirable but it was a rather weak edition of the race. Up in the weights here. Jalan Jalan finished strongly in the Euclase and looks to appreciate the step up to 1300 metres. Hard to see any value about the current $4 on offer. Nat’s the Boss overcame a wide barrier to salute at nice odds last start. Step up in distance looks ideal and he has no weight on his back. This is a different class of race though. Have to respect Dwayne Dunn’s decision to pilot the lightly raced Battlecamp here.
One for exotics: Nat’s The Boss ($19)
Race prediction: 2-1-3-8
Quaddie selections: 1, 2, 3, 8, 11
Verdict: This race is by no means a Group 1; Sooboog looks the goods. Sooboog W@5.00.
Race 9 Benchmark 84 1300m
Think the favourites have a stranglehold on this one. Duke of Brunswick was clearly the best of the on pacers first up at Morphettville. He had a tough run and stuck on very well; looks fitter second up. The query for him is he might have to do it tough again from the wide barrier. Belesron is 1 from 1 at the track and gets Oliver on board today. He ran well first up and has a great second up record. Note that Spreadeagled came out of that race a solid winner last week. Ruettiger gets the blinkers back on today and finished well from the back (was entitled to) in the same race as Duke of Brunswick. Also drawn wide but it shouldn’t bother him. Not sure he’s as good as the top two but a live winning chance. Mr Backchat ran quite well last month beating home the flying The New Boy. Drawn wide but isn’t without a chance. Coram mixes his form whilst Raposo and Magnus Lad the blowout chances.
One for exotics: Mr Backchat ($13)
Race prediction: 5-6-12-2
Quaddie selections: 5, 6
Verdict: Duke of Brunswick to bounce back. Duke of Brunswick W@3.80
War Legend E.W @7.50:2.50
Duke of Brunswick W@3.80
Quaddie numbers $30 for 10%
R6: 1, 3, 6, 8, 13
R7: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 11
R8: 1, 2, 3, 8, 11
R9: 5, 6